ByteDance to Reduce 2022-23 Recruitment Plan

On July 21, domestic media outlet Jiemian News learned from insiders that ByteDance’s CEO Liang Rubo recently updated his personal OKR (a goal-setting framework). It shows that ByteDance is updating its recruitment plan according to business needs and will greatly reduce the numbes it needs throughout 2022-23. This move is to reduce the growth rate of organizational scale and improve the company’s efficiency.

Liang Rubo’s OKR did not specify the reduction ratio of the recruitment plan, but according to the above mentioned insiders, the company had already emphasized organizational optimization.

Those familiar with the matter mentioned that ByteDance management believes in “making great efforts to perform great” and hope to achieve these results with short-term, large-scale capital and human resource investment when developing new businesses. Within a single year the company’s employee numbers went from 60,000 to 100,000 in 2020. Among them, more than 10,000 people have been recruited within the education business. During the year, ByteDance opened more than 6,000 jobs for new graduates, and the total number of school recruitment in the whole year exceeded 12,000.

However, the development of its education and game business didn’t work as expected. In June this year, reported that the education business of ByteDance had undergone a major adjustment, and it was estimated that about 3,000 employees would be laid off. At that time, the total number of employees in this business was less than 5,000, and the optimized employees would receive “N+2” compensation (standard severance compensation, plus the salary of two months). Almost at the same time, according to a report by Jiemian News, the company’s game department also began to lay off employees, and several game projects were being abolished or integrated.

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In November last year, Liang Rubo issued an internal letter announcing the adjustment of organizational structure, forming BUs (Business Units). The company set up six BUs, including Douyin, Dali Education, Feishu, Volcengine, Nuverse and TikTok. In addition to the overall architecture adjustment, the importance of Douyin for ByteDance is increasing.